Ecological characterization

The pilot demonstration Vardofjäll-Vinter, Västerbotten is located in the boreal zone of northern Sweden with a total size of 2246 km2. In addition to commercial forestry, the area constitutes a key wintering area for reindeer in Vilhelmina Norra sameby (in English reindeer herding community). The boreal forests are dominated by Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and Norway spruce (Picea abies), to a minor proportion birch (Betula pubescens) and other broadleaved species. In its natural state the pine forests are fire-prone. Inventory data – sufficient for making projections of forest development – is available from the three forest companies owning and managing forest in the area. Indigenous grazing rights and ownership rights apply in parallel in the pilot area.

Forest Ecosystem Services (FES)

reindeers grazing lichen

Forest land in the case study area is primarily owned by forest companies. The forest is primarily used for timber production and reindeer husbandry – two activities that often are in conflict with each other. The area is important winter grazing area for reindeer herding, the reindeer foraging on mainly ground lichen but also on arboreal lichens. In addition, due to the ambition of Sweden to reduce its impact on the climate, there are initiatives to increase carbon sequestration in the forest, which can have an impact on how forests are managed.

We focus on the following ecosystem services in the case study area:

  • Timber and forest fuel production,
  • Production of reindeer winter grazing resources, mainly lichen,
  • CO2 mitigation.


Villhemina Norra sameby can through immemorial rights graze their reindeer throughout the area also operated by the industrial forest owners (Sveaskog AB, Holmen Skog AB and SCA AB). Finding a balance in land use between stakeholders is the challenge of this pilot area.


The forest land is primarily owned by three large forest companies (Sveaskog AB, Holmen Skog AB and SCA AB).

Ecosystem Model

The Heureka system containing tree growth and yield models for all tree species and the system provides indicators of all ES mentioned except for hunting and ecotourism.